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When the U.S. Government Tried to Fight Communism with Buddhism

posted on September 11, 2017

For POLITICO Magazine, Joe Freeman writes, “As Buddhist Myanmar is once again in the news for a brutal crackdown on its Rohingya Muslim minority, it’s worth remembering just how politically volatile religion can be in Southeast Asia.” Freeman points out that Buddhist institutions were propped up by the United States during the Cold War to combat the anti-religious sentiments coming out of communist countries. Freeman adds, “The U.S. used the same quiet approach in other countries – grants to Buddhist educational and development groups, the distribution of anti-communist propaganda, staking out a presence at Buddhist conferences and the sponsoring of trips to the U.S. for senior members of the Sangha, or clergy, where they visited such sites as the Empire State Building.”

Read at POLITICO Magazine